2012 Traffic Fatality Numbers Highlight Urgent Need to Take Action to Eliminate Drunk Driving as DUI Fatalities Top 10,000

Nov 14, 2013, 12:17 ET from Mothers Against Drunk Driving

MADD urges the nation to double-down on proven drunk driving countermeasures

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned today that drunk driving fatalities increased by 4.6 percent to 10,322, according to the 2012 traffic fatality data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  NHTSA also announced that overall traffic fatalities increased by 3 percent to 33,561.  At a time when the traffic safety community has joined efforts to keep the public safe on our roads, MADD is saddened to learn of this increase after six years of continuing declines.

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"As a nation, this news is alarming," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® is built on proven countermeasures that work.  It's time for every state across the country to pass laws to require all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device."  To date, 20 states have passed such laws and have seen significant decreases in drunk driving deaths.  Recently, AAA and the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states pass these lifesaving laws. 

"This news is frustrating because we know what works, and we know how to stop these senseless tragedies," continued Withers.  The Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving was launched in 2006 and serves as a blueprint for the nation to literally eliminate one of the leading causes of death on our highways.  The Campaign calls for more high visibility law enforcement through sobriety checkpoints, all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device, and the development of advanced vehicle technology, like the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), which one day can eliminate drunk driving completely. 

NHTSA's initiatives to save lives and improve traffic safety for the nation have proven successful in the past and, as the traffic safety community we must continue working together to save lives and prevent injuries on our nation's roadways.

As we approach the holiday season, a time when drunk driving fatalities spike, MADD stands with our heroes in law enforcement as they conduct more sobriety checkpoints in conjunction with NHTSA's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  MADD urges everyone to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver. 

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP.  Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving